YUMMY GUMMY LATEX ‘FOR SALE’ – REBECCA
BREAKING: GERMAN FETISH BALL VENUE
ORIGINAL SKIN TWO CLUB: ISMS TALK
PARTY LIKE IT’S 2023: A NEW YEAR OF EVENTS
MISS MEATFACE: HANDBOOK FOR MEATMAIDS
HARNESS & MANE: NOVEMBER COVER
GFB 2022 REPORT PART 1: JULY COVER
BLACKLICKORISH LATEX + STASSIE X KYLIE
After previously reporting on the supporting events in this year’s German Fetish Ball Weekend programme, we finally arrive at our GFB 2022 Report Part 3, covering the day of the Ball itself (Saturday May 28), and its aftermath.
The big question of that day was, of course, how would new venue Club Ost compare with the Ball’s established home, Spindler & Klatt, which had not been able to accommodate this year’s event?
However, before that question could be answered, there was a second brief visit to the German Fetish Fair and a team dinner to take care of.
By a happy coincidence, I was ready to head off to the Fair at around the time LFTV buddy Cole Black returned to the nhow hotel from shooting fashion show rehearsal footage at Club Ost.
So once again we headed out together to Magazin in der Heeresbäckerei. We arrived with enough time left for our respective catch-up operations, but ended up leaving earlier than planned.
It was the only way to fit in dinner with our model pals Psycatt and Digital Lioness, who had to be at Ost early to prepare for the Pandora Deluxe show (the evening’s first catwalk event).
We grabbed an Uber to Zur kleinen Markhalle, an old-style eaterie in Kreuzberg serving traditional Berlin fare. Very different from the previous evening’s fancy dining, it was nevertheless charming and perfect for the limited time we had.
With the models heading back to the club after dinner, Cole and I retired to our hotel rooms with plenty of prepping time left for the night’s main event.
One of the advantages of the nhow this year was its location roughly midway between all of the GFB venues. And with Club Ost being just a 15-minute stroll away along Stralauer Allee, parallel to the River Spree, we elected to walk there.
Arriving with Cole at the street frontage of the club building, with its distinctive six-sided arched roof, quickly paid off. Since he’d been there during the afternoon, he’d already sussed out key features of the place.
He already knew about things like the entrance being around the back of this converted power station, and about the fashion show being on the very top floor.
With time to spare before the shows, we decided to do some shooting around the entrance level floor. As on previous occasions, the combination of Cole’s bright video light and my camera flash attracted a steady stream of people wanting to be photographed. We obliged of course!
My presumption that most of the crowd were not locals, and (like us) were experiencing Club Ost this year for the first time, seemed borne out by the number of times we were asked if we knew where in the club the shows would be taking place.
We shared what we knew, but I think we both felt this shouldn’t have been necessary. This warren-like collection of sparsely-lit spaces cried out for signage spread around the venue, giving info such as show times and directions to the shows. But I saw none.
Later, but in good time (we thought), we arrived at the show floor, which was obviously the neon-bedecked space shown in several of the venue’s promo pictures. It was somewhat smaller than the photos made it appear; perhaps the photographer had previously worked for an estate agent.
The runway/catwalk was a floor-level red carpet abutted on three sides by rows of seating, à la Avantgardista. Also à la Avantgardista, all the seats had already been taken.
There was no evidence of reserved space for the photographers there to shoot the shows, so we just had to locate ourselves as best we could around the area at the end of the catwalk.
The entertainment line-up for the 2022 Ball was a truncated version of the programmes typically staged in earlier years at Spindler & Klatt.
Given the short lead time for organising the Ball’s return this year at this brand new venue, some trimming-down was understandable.
One early indication of said trimming was that, rather than the usual guest MC (Leigh Hutchinson had last filled the role in 2019), GFB host René handled all this year’s announcements and introductions.
Furthermore, there were just four designers — around half the traditional number — in the fashion shows, along with two standalone fetish performances rather than three, and a spot for the 2022 European Fetish Awards.
This year’s designers were all latex brands — two from the UK and two from Germany. In order of appearance, they were: Pandora Deluxe (London) and Maniac Latex (Berlin) in the first half of the programme; then Inner Sanctum (Hamburg) and Antidote (London) in the second half.
Pandora Deluxe designer Magdalena Chapman put ten latex outfits onto the Ball runway, worn by a team of models that included some of London’s highest-profile fetishistas.
Most of the designs featured some element of Magdalena’s trademark laser-cut latex, from revealing strappy bondage styles to intricate latex lace — in some cases combining both to striking effect.
This UK label enjoys a massive following in Europe due in no small part to its memorable appearances at major European events like the GFB Weekend. This year, Pandora put all its energies into staging a top-class fashion show without also exhibiting at the Fair, which seemed to pay off handsomely.
Next on, Theresa Ziege’s up-and-coming Berlin label Maniac Latex reversed the mix of gender styles usually seen on the GFB catwalk, with a strong showing of men’s outfits complemented by just a few designs for women.
Among standout styles for the guys were casual athletic/leisure tops and leggings offered in contrasting plain colours or matching checks — the latter created by carefully appliquéing multiple white strips onto single-colour backgrounds.
Maniac’s pièce de resistance for me, though, was a complex custom tartan waistcoat-and-trews set with matching cap, painstakingly created from four different colours of latex strip appliquéd onto a red background.
The mid section of the show programme began with a presentation by Hamburg collective Xelk, featuring Anja Abels (aka TheCreature) and Yel Beaufort performing a fetish tango entitled Cancíon de Cuna.
It was an original concept to be sure, although I couldn’t help feeling that the performance by the two black-clad dancers would have had even more gravitas had it happened on a darkened stage with just two follow-spots dramatically illuminating the choreography.
After the tango, René stepped up to announce the 2022 European Fetish Awards, which were re-imagined a while ago as just two prizes: the EFA itself and a Special Award.
This year both awards went to rejuvenated German brands. The first was for BoundCon, which at this point was finally about to stage its return to Munich in June, after changing ownership in 2019 and then being forced into a two-year holding pattern because of covid.
In pre-covid years, BoundCon’s dates had sometimes clashed provocatively with the GFB’s. But for BoundCon’s 2022 revival, new owner Claudia Linder pointedly chose June dates a full two weeks after the Berlin event.
It’s not impossible, therefore, to imagine that giving the European Fetish Award to BoundCon embodied recognition of its new owner’s considerate gesture in avoiding another dates clash.
Second award winner was Marquis magazine, also under new German ownership, after having previously been sold to an American buyer who subsequently returned it to its founder, Peter Czernich.
Some might even think Peter deserves his own award for managing to sell his magazine twice to two different buyers! But of course we’re happy to see the title surviving and wish new Marquis publisher Andreas Reichardt every success in his new role.